Bethany Lutheran Church - Ishpeming Michigan

Pastor's Reflections

April this year is going to be an especially busy month here at Bethany. Most years, Holy Week and Easter take place in April and that is the case this year as well. That in itself is enough to make it a special month as the Three Days followed by Easter Sunday represent the center of the church year as we recall and celebrate the events that define our Christian faith. As always we will mark these days in their fullness starting on Maundy Thursday, then with the Seven Last Words ecumenical service (this year at Bethany) on Friday afternoon and a Tenebrae service in the darkness and shadow of Friday evening. On Saturday we’ll gather again in the evening around an outside fire to begin the Easter Vigil before moving inside by candlelight to continue the service in word and song and baptism. Following that, some will stay and keep watch through the night until Easter morning. These are all unique worship experiences, worth staying up late and losing some sleep over, culminated of course by the great celebration of Easter on Sunday.

That would be enough to make April special, but there’s more. Our annual Pie Social will begin the month on Saturday, April 1st. It’s always a nice time of fellowship, not to mention a vast array of delicious pies. It might violate your Lenten fast, but we’ll ask for a day of special dispensation!

On April 23rd, the Sunday after Easter, our former vicar Terry Frankenstein will be ordained at First Lutheran Church in Gladstone. Easter is a season of celebration and this will help contribute to that feeling as we celebrate with Terry. At her request, people from Bethany will be involved in the service and I know she will be pleased to see anyone who is able to be part of this special day.

A few days after that, we will have what for us will be the highlight of this Reformation 500 year. On Wednesday evening, April 26th Kurt Hendel, the Bernard, Fischer, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor Emeritus of Reformation History at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will speak at Bethany. There is much more about him and what he will talk about elsewhere in the Outlook, but I would more simply say that in addition to being an insightful, engaging teacher of Luther and the Reformation, Kurt is also a genuinely nice guy, a very pastoral presence in addition to being a scholar and teacher. When I interviewed potential interns at LSTC a few years back, out of curiosity I would ask them who their favorite professors were and Kurt Hendel was one of the most frequent responses. I was only able to have one class with him when I was at LSTC as he was away on sabbatical part of that time so I am very much looking forward to this opportunity!

It’s been a few years since we’ve had a speaker here but we’ve always had excellent turnouts and I’m sure that will be the case again. Mark your calendar, plan to be present and invite others to be part of an enjoyable evening. You’ll leave with new insights concerning the significance of the Reformation 500 years later and what it means to call yourself a Lutheran Christian in the year 2017!

All in all, a very full month.

Pastor Geier

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Bethany Lutheran Church •715 Mather Avenue • Ishpeming, MI 49849
Rev. Warren Geier, Pastor •E-mail: revwgeier@charterinternet.com
Phone: 906-486-4351 •Fax: 906-486-9640 •E-mail: bethanyim@hotmail.com
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